Two years ago, Rob and I were in San Diego so we visited the famous San Diego Zoo. While there, we saw this cheetah and this dog being walked around the zoo grounds together. Hmmm? I wondered how this unlikely duo ended up being walking pals.
And now I know the rationale behind my strange encounter.
Did you know that cheetahs apparently have a hard time doing the wild thing? According to this article, cheetahs are very skittish animals making it very difficult for them to mate. As a result, zoos have been pairing cheetahs with domestic dogs that act like therapy dogs. In fact, the San Diego Zoo has been pairing cheetahs and dogs for nearly 40 years!
How does it work?
The cheetahs are paired with a dog when they are very young and the cheetah learns to trust the dog. The dog’s reassuring body language is calming to the cheetah and helps ease it’s skittish nature. This relaxation helps the cheetah respond better with others of its own species; thereby making it easier to breed. Who knew dogs could be such an aphrodisiac! Feeling frisky? Need help getting your lady friend in the mood? Adopt a dog today!